Canberra café raises $300,000 for habitat restoration

Over the past 15 years, Canberra-based Brindabella Café has raised more than $300,000 for Greening Australia, a not-for-profit organisation that conserves and restores Australia’s landscapes.

In 2004, Brindabella Café began charging a Greening Levy of 20 cents to customers when they opted for a takeaway cup, which was then donated to Greening Australia.

“My partner and I were so frustrated that people were using so many single use cups,” Owner Skye Palmer says. “Apparently over 2.5 million cups are thrown away every day in this country.”

Graham Fifield, Greening Australia’s Business Unit Leader for Great Southern Landscapes says, “20c might seem small, but the Brindabella Café’s efforts have made a significant contribution to local revegetation and conservation projects, helping landholders to create landscapes where people and nature can thrive. Better still, the initiative is driving clear change in decreasing the use of take-away coffee cups.”

Graham says the support of Brindabella Café has contributed to the Bridging the Gaps project, which was established to assist rural and peri-urban landowners within the Capital Region undertake conservation projects on their properties. Bridging the Gaps has now engaged more than 70 landowners in conservation-based projects.

Brindabella Café began the initiative after a wave of bushfires ravaged the surrounding landscapes.

A partnership with Greening Australia, who was actively involved in community engagement and post-bushfire restoration at the time, allowed Brindabella Café to solve its takeaway cup dilemma while also contributing to the environment.

Since implementation, the initiative – along with an orphanage of donated mugs that can be used by people who forget their own cups – has brought takeaway cup usage down to only 30 per cent at the café.

Greening Australia are using the funds raised from the sale of more than 1.5 million to regenerate creeks and rivers, plant trees and shrubs for bushfire recovery and restore vital habitat in the surrounding rural areas.

This week, Brindabella Café and Greening Australia relaunched the cup levy initiative to promote the program to new customers.

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